Your journey to law school begins at the University of Central Missouri. While UCM does not have a law or pre-law degree, our pre-law pathway delivers the education you need to excel. Choose an undergraduate degree that best supports your career plans and enjoy more affordable tuition rates and smaller class sizes than at larger schools. The personal interaction with UCM faculty who hold Juris Doctor law degrees offers you tremendous value and is just one of the many reasons alumni rank us among the best schools for pre-law.
Our partnership with the University of Missouri helps ensure your acceptance and seamless transfer to University of Missouri School of Law - Columbia or Kansas City. Following our 3+3 program, you can complete your education — bachelor’s degree at UCM and Juris Doctor degree at Mizzou Law — in six years.
Though you are not required to choose any specific undergraduate major for acceptance into law school, many UCM students who have gone on to success in law school have chosen one of the following undergraduate majors:
Options to meet pre-law requirements
LSAT prep assistance and practice
Preferred admit to Mizzou law schools
Advice of UCM staff with JD degrees
Ranked #2 in Missouri for mock trial
Active Pre-Law Student Association
At the University of Central Missouri, we know the best schools for pre-law prepare you with various hands-on experiences, as well as beneficial programs and resources. At UCM, these include:
The Pre-Law Student Association is a longstanding organization at UCM that brings together students from different disciplines who are interested in attending law school. Members of the organization typically meet twice a month to discuss a wide array of issues associated with the law. The PLSA organization takes field trips, including to MINK Law Day each September, invites law school admissions counselors to campus, visits law schools, meets judges of the Western District Court of Appeals each fall when they hear “live” cases on campus, and introduces speakers during Politics and Social Justice Week. The organization also has tremendous resources to assist students in preparing for the LSAT and it periodically administers practice LSAT exams. Students interested in pursuing a law degree are strongly encouraged to join the Pre-Law Student Association!
Mock Trial is a total immersion, communication skills activity, which gives students the opportunity to learn and practice trial advocacy skills. Students from all academic departments can participate and do so by competing in invitational, regional and national tournaments. Students work with Adam Sommer, a local attorney and the Mock Trial Coach, in small workshop groups, combining knowledge of the law with advocacy skills. The training focuses on developing strategic, coherent case theories; preparing and delivering persuasive opening statements and closing arguments; and conducting clear, effective witness examinations. Students learn a variety of trial techniques, and utilize demonstrative aids and exhibits in a trial setting. Students become acquainted with and apply the Federal Rules of Evidence and Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure. Most important, students build confidence in their abilities and eventually become thoughtful, credible, and quality advocates. UCM’s Mock Trial program has had considerable success over the years, earning many bids to the national tournament. Students interested in joining Mock Trial can contact Adam Sommer at email@example.com.
LAE is open to all students interested in a career in criminal justice. LAE meets regularly on campus and hosts guest speakers from all criminal justice professions. The Criminal Justice and Criminology program has hosted the Gamma Epsilon Delta chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association since 1966. The chapter was named after G.E. "Bill" Davila, one of the department's original faculty members. Students regularly participate in competitions on the regional and national level that include physical agility, mock crime scene investigation, firearms, and written academic examinations. For more information contact Dr. Gregg Etter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
UCM's Forensics/Speech and Debate team competes regularly at state, national, and international competitions. With a long history of success, the team has earned team and individual trophies at all levels. For more information contact
UCM does not offer a law or pre-law degree, but we offer many bachelor’s degrees to help you select the best major for pre-law for you. No matter which you choose, you should graduate with a foundation of legal study and meet pre-law requirements to be accepted to law school.
Take advantage of UCM’s partnership with the University of Missouri, which will help you gain acceptance to their Columbia or Kansas City law schools. Through our 3+3 program, your final year at UCM counts as your first year at Mizzou Law. This enables you to complete your bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor degree in six years.
Get expert help to navigate your future
UCM faculty, who have met pre-law requirements and completed law school, will write letters of recommendation and help you with the personal statement for your law school application. Their guidance, as well as that of UCM’s General Counsel and Scholars Program Director who also hold Juris Doctor degrees, is a big reason alumni say we’re one of the best schools for pre-law. Look to them for advice as you prepare for careers such as:
The most common majors at UCM that go on to law school include Political Science, Criminal Justice & Criminology, History, and English, but there are many others.
The American Bar Association states:
The ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics or business, or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science and mathematics, computer science, engineering, nursing or education. Whatever major you select, you are encouraged to pursue an area of study that interests and challenges you, while taking advantage of opportunities to develop your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education. A sound legal education will build upon and further refine the skills, values, and knowledge that you already possess.
After choosing your best major for pre-law, pair it with UCM’s Legal Studies minor for a solid foundation in the study of law. Our Political Science, Criminal Justice and Criminology and Business Law faculty work together to provide a diverse introduction and strong footing in legal studies through coursework that includes: